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Archive for June 8th, 2008

I Need a Cape

When people hear I have triplets, before they even hear I also have a four year old, they immediately say, "Wow, you must be SuperMama."  My response is always the same, "Nope, not SuperMama, just AdequateMama."  Some days are better than others.  I’m not perfect, but I do my best.  But there are days that I even impress myself. 

This morning, Seth had to go out to check the eruv, and left me at home with J and the babies.  J, happily, was entranced by the electronic babysitter, er, the idiot box, um, an educational video, a Disney DVD.    Suddenly, my three completely happy, peaceful babies started HOWLING.  It was still a little shy of breakfast time (about 15-20 minutes early, but in the ballpark), but it was clear that for whatever reason, they were all starving.  Normally if I’m home I do not feed Ellie and Sam bottles.  I nurse them exclusively while I’m home.  But with all three of them screaming, and the potential for J to start becoming needy at any moment as well, I realized that desperate times called for desperate measures.  So I went and prepared bottles for all three babies and returned, bottles and boppies in hand.

However, this still led me to a conundrum.  As Keira pointed out in an email to me recently, we MoM’s (Mothers of Multiples) are not Octopuses, yet we have to be sometimes.  This was one of those times.  I don’t bottle prop*.  I have never bottle propped.  Once, in my pediatrician’s office, the nurse "helpfully" propped one of my babies’ bottles and I was furious.  That was the one and only time that my babies have had propped botles.  So since I don’t prop bottles and I’m not an octopus, how was I going to feed three screaming babies?  After all, the whole reason I wasn’t nursing Sam and Ellie was because I had three screaming mouths to feed. 

But necessity, as you know, is the mother of all invention, and MoMs are resourceful and creative, if nothing else.  I put each baby in a boppy and put a bottle in each of their mouths.  At first I held one bottle with my left hand, stabilized the next bottle (the middle baby) with my forearm and held the third bottle with my right hand.  But Sam was not happy and was squirmy and screaming, while the girls were calming down, so it was clear that he needed some extra TLC.  I picked him up and held him in my arms and held the bottle in my left hand.  I moved Ellie over to my right side and held her bottle in with my right hand.  This left poor Abby.  None of my babies is coordinated enough to hold their own bottle in their mouth for an extended period of time (more than a few seconds), so that was no good.  Something had to be done.

And so, resourceful MoM that I am… I held Abby’s bottle in with …  my foot. 

I do wish I’d gotten a picture of this ridiculous sight, but of course if there had been anyone around to take a picture, then I would not have needed to have done anything so ridiculous!

So I may not be quite a DC or Marvel Comics-worthy superhero, but I do leap tall buildings in a single bound.  I think I need a cape.  And a sidekick. 

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*Please note I have no issue with people who do bottle prop, but it’s one of the things that I felt very strongly about with my triplets.  I was told constantly before they were born that I would never be able to breastfeed (hah!), that I would never be able to feed them individually (Sunday’s incident was one of only maybe three similar incidents in which all three babies were starving at the same exact instant that I can remember in the entire seven + months that we’ve had the triplets home… we have them fairly well trained to eat in rotation), that I would have to bottle prop, that I would have to do all of these things like it or not.  Since research shows that bottle fed babies are already held less than breastfed babies, it was very important to me that Abby (who cannot nurse) is held for her feedings with rare exception.  Bottle propping only discourages holding the babies during feedings.  I recognize that with multiples, particularly higher order multiples like mine and others, you simply do what you have to do to survive.  Therefore, I’m merely presenting what my parenting philosophy was, without judgment on what anyone else does, did, or did not do.  If bottle propping, podee bottles, or similar things is what kept another MoM sane, then by all means, I encourage it.  For me, it would have driven me further from sanity, so it was not a good option for me.

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